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Top Doctors 2010

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With help from the area’s health systems, scores of doctors throughout Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties took part in our annual poll. So how does this year’s list differ from all the rest? Well, for one, we’ve added eight new categories, giving several specialties long-overdue recognition. Hats off to all the winners—especially the 21 “best of the best” profiled below.
 

For the rest of this year’s nominees, click here.
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiDermatology: Dr. Christine Egan

Dermatology Ltd., 101 Chesley Drive, Suite 100, Media; (610) 566-7111, dermatologyltd.com

Undergraduate education: University of Scranton

Medical school: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Residency: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Years in practice: 14

Worth noting: Dr. Christine Egan was on a dermatology rotation in her fourth year as a medical student when she decided to change her specialty. “We were asked to see a sick, young woman in the intensive care unit, and the attending dermatologist just walked into the room, looked at her rash and, in five minutes, made the diagnosis,” says Egan. “He started therapies and saved her life before any testing came back. He simply looked at her skin and knew exactly what was going on.” Egan was so impressed she decided to be a dermatologist instead of a reconstructive plastic surgeon. “Although we use the tests to confirm, we often just look and make a diagnosis—and that’s pretty cool,” she says.
 

Endocrinology: Dr. Deebeanne Tavani

Lankenau Hospital, MOB East, Suite 463, 100 Lancaster Ave., Wynnewood; (610) 896-5170, mainlinehealth.org/lankenau

Undergraduate education: La Salle University

Medical school: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Residency: Lehigh Valley Hospital Center

Years in practice: 18

Worth noting: When a resident called Dr. Deebeanne Tavani over a long holiday weekend about an elderly patient who’d sunk into a coma, she didn’t wait until Monday to visit the ICU. Tavani talked to the patient’s wife of 40 years, ran initial lab studies, made a clinical diagnosis of pituitary apoplexy (acute hemorrhage or infarction of a pituitary gland), and ultimately transferred the man to Jefferson for surgery. “The patient was awake and alert the next day, watching a baseball game in his room,” says Tavani, who’s the system chief of endocrinology for Main Line Health. “It makes you think about doing the right thing—seeing the patient, making sure you know the exact history.”
 

Internal Medicine: Dr. Alan Zweben

Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Ambulatory Care Pavilion, 1 Medical Center Blvd., Suite 532, Upland; (610) 447-6788, crozer.org

Undergraduate education: Stony Brook University

Medical school: Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Residency: Pennsylvania Hospital

Years in practice: 26

Worth noting: There are few dull moments in the emergency room, so it’s no surprise that quick-thinking doctors like Dr. Alan Zweben are in their element when forced to juggle multiple patients at one time. “That was the moment where I knew for sure that I was ready to do this, without a sort of daddy or mommy there to hold my hand,” he says. “One thing I didn’t know about being a doctor at the time was how many decisions we make every day.”
 

Continued on page 2 …
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiOncology: Dr. Paul Gilman

Lankenau Hospital Cancer Center, 100 Lancaster Ave., Wynnewood; (866) CALL-MLH, mainlinehealth.org/lhcc

Undergraduate education: Pennsylvania State University

Medical school: Jefferson Medical College

Residency: New England Deaconess Hospital

Years in practice: 25

Worth noting: Sometimes, it takes the right patient to put things into perspective. Such was the case for Dr. Paul Gilman. One cloudy, rainy morning, he was making hospital rounds when he commented on the dreary weather to a middle-aged patient with advanced lung cancer. “He said to me, ‘You know what I saw when I woke up this morning? I saw a beautiful, sunny day—because it was another day I was alive,’” Gilman recalls. “There are a number of patients who we do cure, but there are a number of patients who we don’t. But we still have something we can give our patients, even if it’s just a chance to see another day.”
 

Gastroenterology:
Dr. Frederic Meyers

Brandywine GI Associates, Ltd., 213 Reeceville Road, Suite 17, Coatesville; (610) 384-6076, brandywinegi.com

Undergraduate education: Brown University

Medical school: George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Residency: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Years in practice: 22

Worth noting: Early in his career, Dr. Frederic Meyers diagnosed a 38-year-old woman with colon cancer. “I was the same age at the time. I’d never diagnosed someone that young before,” he says. “She had young children, and she had an awful struggle.” Three years after, his brother-in-law was diagnosed with colon cancer, and then passed away a year later. “Those were two defining moments early in my career that really made me focus on the importance of educating the public to be alert and not ignore symptoms of intestinal distress, no matter how minor,” says Meyers.
 

Ophthalmology: Dr. Ananth V. Mudgil

Mudgil Eye Associates, 440 E. Marshall St., Suite 100, West Chester; (610) 429-3004, mudgil.com

Undergraduate education: Union College

Medical school: Albany Medical College

Residency: Brown University

Years in practice: 12

Worth noting: Dr. Ananth V. Mudgil once performed LASIK surgery on a patient who had advanced multiple sclerosis. “When she’d wake up in the middle of the night, she would have difficulty reaching for her glasses due to weakness in her arms,” Mudgil recalls. “She’d also have difficulty inserting and removing contact lenses due to weakness in her hands and poor coordination from her advanced disease.” After the operation, the patient could see clearly. “While we were not treating her chronic and incurable disease, I’m sure this surgery extended her life by reducing her depression,” he says. “Much of what I do improves the quality of life for my patients.”
 

Continued on page 3 …
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiFamily Practice: Dr. Kay Cundiff Kerr

Bryn Mawr College Health Center, 101 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 526-7360, brynmawr.edu/healthcenter

Undergraduate education: Muhlenberg College

Medical school: Medical College of Pennsylvania

Residency: Bryn Mawr Hospital

Years in practice: 30

Worth noting: What could the future hold for an 18-year-old college student with life-threatening asthma attacks? “Beyond treating her with medicines, we taught her self-management strategies, gave her easy and convenient access to medical care, and worked closely with behavioral-health specialists and college officials to give her support,” says Dr. Kay Cundiff Kerr of her patient, who went on to complete her studies and lead a normal life. “Taking care of the person—not just the disease—is the hallmark of family medicine.”
 

General Surgery: Dr. Hasan Vakil

Riddle Memorial Hospital, 1098 W. Baltimore Pike, HC 2, Suite 3411, Media; (610) 565-4338, mainlinehealth.org/riddle

Undergraduate education and medical school: University of Tehran, Iran

Residency: Emory University Hospital

Years in practice: 35

Worth noting: The note came from the daughter of one of Dr. Hasan Vakil’s patients. “Thank you for the compassion and kindness with which you treated my mother,” it said. “I was so impressed by the manner in which you told her she had cancer. I don’t believe that, in 45 years of nursing, I’ve seen such gentleness and caring.” Those heartfelt sentiments struck a chord with Vakil, who will celebrate his 30th anniversary as the chairman of the Division of Surgery at Riddle next year. “Letters like this make me the best that I can be in my field,” he says.
 

Obstetrics & Gynecology:
Dr. Amy Jane Cadieux

Women’s Healthcare Group of PA, Valley Forge OB/GYN, 799 Gay St., Phoenixville; (610) 933-2440, whcgpa.com

Undergraduate education: Wells College,
New York

Medical school: Dartmouth College,
New Hampshire

Residency: Pennsylvania Hospital

Years in practice: 15

Worth noting: One patient left a profound impression on Dr. Amy Jane Cadieux before losing a second battle with breast cancer at age 47. “She was given only a short time to live, but defied the odds and lived seven years. I learned from her that you can’t treat people like a statistic,” says Cadieux. “She taught me that the human spirit is an amazing thing. She never stopped living and, through the pain of her disease, was a beacon of hope for others.”
 

Continued on page 4 …
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiNeurology: Dr. Chhinder P. Binning

115 John Robert Thomas Drive, Exton,
(610) 363-1154

Undergraduate education: University of the Punjab Glancy Medical College, India

Medical school: Royal College of Physicians, England

Residency: Hahnemann University Hospital

Years in practice: 20

Worth noting: Based largely around mathematics and precision, the discipline of neurology relies on a fusion of analytical thinking and compassion for the human condition, no matter how dire the situation may be. “I had a 40-year-old woman with Guillain–Barré syndrome (an autoimmune disorder affecting the nervous system) who was hospitalized for an entire year,” says Dr. Chhinder P. Binning, noting the incredible stress and anxiety her family suffered through. In this case, it was a happy ending. “She eventually went back to work, due to her rehabilitation efforts and those of our neurological team.”
 

Rheumatology:

Photo by Jared Castaldi

Dr. Jennifer Kwan-Morley

Arthritis Associates of the Main Line, Drs. Krauser and Kwan-Morley, 11 Industrial Blvd., Suite 201, Paoli; 599 Arcola Road, Second Floor, Collegeville; (610) 647-2398

Undergraduate education: Northwestern University

Medical school: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Residency: McGaw Medical Center and Evanston Hospital

Years in practice: 3 1/2

Worth noting: Dr. Jennifer Kwan-Morley recalls the case of a woman with an extremely swollen arm. After six months, she wound up in the hospital for tests to rule out a rheumatologic cause. Kwan-Morley and her fellow rheumatologists discovered an enlarged thyroid, which was pressing on the patient’s lymphatic system, causing an obstruction. “It illustrated to me the importance of keeping my eyes open and, most importantly, listening to the patient,” she says.
 

Orthopedics: Dr. Christopher Lyons

Advanced Orthopaedic Associates of PA,
479 Thomas Jones Way, Suite 300, Exton;
(610) 280-9999, aoaofpa.com

Undergraduate education: Cornell University

Medical school: Temple University School of Medicine

Residency: Temple University Hospital

Years in practice: 23

Worth noting: No one has the time to be sidelined by major surgery—least of all, the long-suffering cruise ship employee and tour guide who came to Dr. Christopher Lyons for relief. But after a full recovery from procedures to replace a hip and a shoulder, Lyons’ patient is back on the job, with no signs of slowing down. “I’m happiest if I’m able to fix patients without pain,” says Lyons.
 

Continued on page 5 …
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiAnesthesiology: Dr. Louis Boxer

The Chester County Hospital, 701 E. Marshall St., West Chester; (610) 431-5387, cchosp.com

Undergraduate education: Kenyon College

Medical school: Medical College of Pennsylvania

Residency: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Years in practice: 15

Worth noting: Dr. Louis Boxer sees patients at their most vulnerable time: right before surgery. “I like that I can put patients at ease by being a familiar face they know,” he says. Also the medical director at West Chester’s Turks Head Surgery Center, Boxer has treated whole generations of families. “Growing up, I heard about the general practitioner who took care of the whole family,” he says. “Essentially, I get to do that.”
 

Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery:

Photo by Jared Castaldi

Dr. Gary Wingate

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery of Chester County, 460 Creamery Way, Suite 110, Exton; plasticsurgeryofchestercounty.com,
(610) 524-8244

Undergraduate education: University of Utah

Medical school: Northwestern University Medical School

Residency: Northwestern University Medical Center

Years in practice: 20

Worth noting: “On a week-to-week basis, I may be doing a trauma injury or treating a baby with a birth defect,” says Dr. Gary Wingate. “Or I may be putting a finger back on or performing a breast cancer reconstruction following a mastectomy.” It’s that sort of variety that drew Wingate to his specialty in the first place. “Every day is something new and challenging and artistic—and that’s what’s kept me going,” he says.
 

Radiology: Dr. Lance Becker

Crozer-Chester Medical Center, 1 Medical Center Blvd., Upland, (610) 447-2590; Crozer Medical Plaza at Brinton Lake, 300 Evergreen Drive, Suite 210, Glen Mills, (610) 579-3500; crozer.org

Undergraduate education: University of Massachusetts Amherst

Medical school: Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Residency: Lenox Hill Hospital

Years in practice: 10

Worth noting: Dr. Lance Becker is always up for a challenge, especially when it involves something unusual. A patient with a long history of leg pain and swelling had other physicians stumped. “I had a feeling that it was May-Thurner syndrome,” says Becker. “We simply put a stent in the vein to prop it open, and the results were remarkable.”
 

Continued on page 6 …
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiPediatrics: Dr. Bradley Dyer

All Star Pediatrics, 702 Gordon Drive, Exton; (610) 363-1330, allstarpediatrics.com

Undergraduate education: Stanford University

Medical school: Stanford University School of Medicine

Residency: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Years in practice: 17

Worth noting: During his residency, Dr. Bradley Dyer met a young patient with the rare genetic disorder Trisomy 13. While his mother was told her son would unlikely live more than a few weeks, Dyer looked after Christian for four years. “I helped to keep him healthy and celebrated every milestone as if he was my own child,” says Dyer, who lost touch with the family after his residency. “He and his mother taught me a tremendous amount about caring for children with special needs.”
 
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiPsychiatry (Child & Adolescent):
Dr. Johanna H. Gorman

45 Ridge Road, Phoenixville, (610) 933-7749

Medical school: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany

Residency: Philadelphia Naval Hospital

Years in practice: 32

Worth noting: Dr. Johanna H. Gorman says she became a psychiatrist partly because of her parents, who always viewed everyone without any preconceived notions. “Problems are part of life and living,” she says. “They’re not a defect; they are a hardship.” Gorman now works only with patients aged 13 and older, many of whom have attention deficit disorder, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. “I’ve always learned from my patients,” she says. “Just as much as I help them, they help me. You learn about the tremendous abilities that are inherent in people.”
 
 

Photo by Jared CastaldiUrology: Dr. David E. McGinnis

Bryn Mawr Urology Group, 919 Conestoga Road, Building 1, Suite 300, Rosemont; (610) 525-6580, brynmawrurology.com

Undergraduate education: Harvard University, Massachusetts

Medical school: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Residency: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Years in practice: 17

Worth noting: At a time when no U.S. surgeon was doing laparoscopic prostate surgery, Dr. David E. McGinnis was tasked with building a laparoscopic program at Jefferson. In March 2000, he and a colleague did a laparoscopic prostatectomy. “It was the first one ever in Philadelphia,” he says—but the operation took eight hours, not the expected three. “I was consumed with trying to learn the technique,” he recalls. “Every night for a few weeks, I studied, watched a video and practiced with some instruments in a cardboard box. My wife was puzzled.” Then, he started using the da Vinci robot in 2005. “I was the first surgeon in Philadelphia to do more than 20 prostatectomies with it,” says McGinnis.
 

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Podiatry: Dr. Vincent Pongia

Brandywine Family Footcare, 213 Reeceville Road, Coatesville; (610) 383-5220, brandywinefamilyfootcare.com

Undergraduate education: DeSales University

Medical school: Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine

Residency: Bryn Mawr Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital Center

Years in practice: 25

Worth noting: One afternoon, a young Mexican immigrant who’d gotten his foot caught under a commercial lawn mower was brought to Dr. Vincent Pongia’s office. “The patient had sustained such a compelling injury that, in most cases, he would’ve been facing a fairly substantial amputation,” says Pongia. The patient couldn’t speak English, and he didn’t have insurance. Regardless, Pongia and his team rebuilt a significant portion of his foot using a bone graft from the patient’s hip. “This sort of case summed up why we do what we do,” he says. “We worked through the language barriers. We didn’t worry about the financial side of things. It’s simply the idea of helping others.”
 

Cardiology: Dr. Mian Jan

West Chester Cardiology, 531 Maple Ave., West Chester, (610) 692-4382; 701 E. Baltimore Pike, Suite C, Kennett Square, (610) 444-8939; 119 E. Uwchlan Ave., Suite 200, Exton, (610) 692-4382; westchestercardiology.com

Undergraduate education: Khyber Medical College, Pakistan

Residency: St. Francis Medical Center, New Jersey

Years in practice: 24

Worth noting: As an interventional cardiologist, Dr. Mian Jan always stresses the importance of prevention. “I had one patient in his early 40s who was a marathon runner. He was actually exercising on a bike when he had a heart attack,” Jan recalls. “He was brought into the hospital with several arteries that were blocked, which I stented and fixed.” Jan often uses this patient as an example. “He was doing the right thing as far as the exercise was concerned, but a stress test might’ve caught this before there was a problem. Prevention is crucial.”
 

Psychiatry (Adult): Dr. Kevin Caputo

Crozer-Chester Medical Center, POB I,
30 Medical Center Blvd., Suite 407, Upland;
(610) 874-5257, crozer.org

Undergraduate education: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York.

Medical school: SUNY Upstate Medical University, New York

Residency: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Years in practice: 21

Worth noting: Many conditions aren’t detectable by an X-ray or MRI—like those involving personal relationships and marital stresses. It takes a psychiatric expert like Dr. Kevin Caputo to hone in on those deeper issues. “It’s typical for people to come into my office in a really bad place,” he says. “It gives me great satisfaction to know that I can play a role in treating them.”
 

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